Mayor picks three designers for Heathrow City

The Mayor of London has appointed three architecture practices to produce designs for the redevelopment of the Heathrow Airport site.

The Mayor wants to see Heathrow closed and replaced with a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary. His vision is for a new town on the site of Heathrow Airport.

On behalf of the Mayor, Transport for London has asked the three practices to provide designs that cover several options for redevelopment of a site that, say TfL, could potentially support 90,000 new jobs and provide homes for 190,000 people if a new hub airport to the east of London was eventually agreed by the Government.

The practices – HawkinsBrown, Rick Mather Architects, and – have been appointed to carry out the work and have been given six weeks to develop ideas and illustrations drawing on the potential of the Heathrow site to provide new homes and jobs to help meet the challenge posed by London’s growing population.

The three selected firms will base their work on a report produced by global Real Estate Advisers Jones Lang LaSalle with PBA, which was released by the Mayor earlier this year.

The Mayor of London’s Chief Advisor on aviation, Daniel Moylan, said: “The relocation of Heathrow Airport is a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide a world class aviation environment to the east of London while creating thousands of new homes and jobs in west London. We have now appointed innovative creative practices and look forward to them bringing forward designs that will very clearly demonstrate the quite incredible opportunities in front of us.”

While the Mayor does not directly control the site of Heathrow Airport, he is the spatial planning authority for London and, TfL point out, is responsible for proposing land use designations that coherently meet the needs of the city as it grows.

The report produced earlier this year by Jones Lang LaSalle with PBA tested several scenarios and suggested that a “Heathrow City” proposal would be the best option – the construction of something roughly the economic and physical size of Cambridge. The architects appointed by Transport for London will now work up designs. Altogether 80,000 homes and 90,000 jobs could be created and some terminal buildings could remain for retail, town and convention centre use.

The Mayor hopes there would likely be a focus on education and commercial research such as high value manufacturing spinning off into knowledge parks and office development. He hopes the redevelopment of the site would generate around £7.5bn a year for the London economy and the UK.

Darryl Chen of HawkinsBrown said: “Rarely do you have the chance to directly influence the future form of the city at this scale and this close to London – let alone in the UK. We look forward to the intellectual challenge this commission offers”.

Gavin Miller, Partner at Rick Mather Architects said: “We are delighted to be appointed for this exciting proposal and are looking forward to the challenge of developing  a new vision for the future of Heathrow.”

Place West London is hosting an event on Monday May 12 where the three options for Heathrow – expansion, extension and redevelopment – will be described and discussed.

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